If you’re new to studio photography, you may want to take it one step at a time. Or literally one light at a time. You can make great studio portraits and create different setups with a single light. In this video, Manny Ortiz will show you how. All you need is one light and an optional reflector – and you’re good to go.
We all make mistakes in photography. All of us. But these are things which help us learn and grow as photographers. We make mistakes, we figure out what went wrong, we correct it and then don’t make that mistake again. Thanks to the modern Internet, though, we can learn from the mistakes of others, too.
In this video, photography Antti Karppinen talks us through 7 of the most common lighting mistakes photographers make shooting portraits in the studio. But he’s also going to show us how we can avoid them, too.
I’m not a massive fan of faking optical characteristics in post. I prefer to shoot it the way I’d like in the first place. But sometimes it’s not always possible. Sometimes you don’t realise until after you’ve got the image up on the computer that something is a little more in focus than you’d have liked.
Shooting in the studio, for example, you’re often around f/8, to allow your subject some freedom of movement. With a solid background it doesn’t matter if it’s not blurred out. But it can often cause shoulders or other body parts to be a little sharper than you’d hoped. In this video, Joe Edelman walks us through a simple technique to help soften those areas in Photoshop and simulate them being out of focus.
Often a scene can be visually confusing, especially if there are multiple colours and objects in focus that are fighting for our viewer’s attention. This simple technique that I’m sharing here uses a single dominant coloured gel to simplify the scene visually, then we can draw the attention of our viewer with our Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens.
There are so many Photoshop horror stories out there from badly done HDR and selective colour to terribly “smoothed” skin in portraits. But none of them go quite so far as this short Photoshop horror film from Crypt Monsters.
It begins with a somewhat creepy photographer wrapping up a photoshoot with an attractive model who’s obviously quite nervous. He then loads up one of the images into Photoshop and starts to manipulate it, with some pretty severe consequences.
There’s a big belief surrounding portrait and fashion photography that you always need to have an elaborate lighting setup. While having a bunch of flashes and modifiers can certainly help, it isn’t always necessary. You can still produce great results in an indoor setting with natural light just streaming in through the window. As this behind the scenes video from photographer Irene Rudnyk proves.
It’s that time of year when the snowy portraits come back in a big way. It can often be difficult to predict exactly when the snow will happen in many parts of the world, though. And even if you do know that snow is coming, it can sometimes be impossible to shoot in comfortably.
The default backup is to shoot in the studio and create fake snow in Photoshop, but it doesn’t always look realistic. And that’s how photographer Brandon Adam feels. So in this video, he shows us how to photograph real snow for use in compositing to make studio shots look like they were made outdoors.
This is another one of those questions I get asked a lot: ‘Should I be using a white or grey background with coloured gels?’ As with so many things in photography, the answer isn’t always as simple as you might think.
In this article I show you a recent lighting test where I fired a collection of coloured gels onto a white background and then repeated the same test on a grey background to see the difference. The images below speak for themselves but I’ll also explain some of my personal reasons for using one over another and I’ll also discuss the pros and cons for each.
And we’re not talking iPhone Portrait Lighting mode here. This is light actually recorded on-set, that can be adjusted and changed in post. It’s a bit like how you can relight objects in 3D software, but there’s no 3D software in use here, this is all captured in-camera, thanks to Isolite. It’s a new series of light modifiers being funded through Kickstarter.
Describing itself as “The World’s First Intelligent Light Modifier”, Isolite claims to actually let you turn lights on or off in post. And it’s not simply brightening and darkening different areas of the image, it actually knows how each of the different lights are contributing to the shot. It works with almost any camera (that shoots raw) and just about any flash or strobe, too.
There is an almost endless supply of lighting modifiers available on the market right now, some are cheap and some of the better ones are certainly a lot more expensive. But does cost directly relate to quality? Well, a lot of the time yes it does if you’re referring to build quality.
In general, the more you spend, the more well-made and durable the modifier will be. But does that extra money you spend mean you’re getting a better lighting modifier overall? I would have to say no, in fact for less than £15/$20 you can get some stunningly beautiful light from a homemade lighting modifier. Read on to see examples of the stupidly cheap DIY lighting modifiers I’m referring too.